Monday, March 22, 2010

have you ever spent this long with your mother-in-law? (or, canada, day 2)

It's crazy just how well I slept that first night. There were moments yesterday when I doubted. There were moments where I questioned coming, questioned thinking that four adults like us could pull off a foreign country vacation together, questioned thinking that I could just 'wing it' when it came to planning and paying and getting along. Nothing was going as planned, we were driving so much and hardly getting anything done--crazy Toronto driving in rush hour is a nightmare I don't soon want to repeat!

But I woke up feeling like myself again. I probably could have kept on sleeping for 3 more hours, but still, I felt good. I felt better. We met Clloylde Burns and he is just as awesome as his wife. Very funny and entertaining, sweet, happy to have us. :)


We were a little nervous about island-food breakfast. Salt Fish?!? But we tried it willingly. It was ok; too salty as you'd imagine, and fish hashbrowns aren't my ideal choice, but I was a good guest and ate what they put in front of me. The fried plantains were awesome! I'm so totally going to try to make these back home.

It was a nice energizing breakfast with lots of laughs. It wasn't too cold when we left the Burns' to start some sight-seeing, but 10 minutes later that changed! The wind was enough to knock you down again, and Connie said this was nothing compared to the wind that had knocked her over last winter when she'd broken a rib.


This is a common site back east during this time of year-the trees get wrapped to protect them from the cold.


The rain started coming down as we made our way to the Toronto Temple.

We took some wet pictures in front and bumped into President Farley-Connie's old stake president from back home in AZ! He and his wife were in Toronto on a mission themselves in the neighboring mission. His son's family is in our ward so I made sure to take pictures for him. She found it so nice to see him just as she was leaving the country. :)



It's a pretty temple, but the grounds are just so brown due to the season and time of year. There are little fountains all over the property that are turned off to avoid ice damage, and little vignette spots perfect for wedding shot pictures. It made me a bit home sick for our beautiful temple back home and the constantly green temple grounds.


Next we headed to downtown Toronto. You should see Connie drive here, in the rain, on the freeways. . . she's such a pro! We went to Casa Loma (House on the Hill) which is the largest castle in North America. We toured this 100-room house. The rooms were magnificent and modern for the time, some with telephones and wired for "the electric light". I think I counted 5 pianos in the house, and that's just the rooms I toured!



This was my favorite room, Lady Pellett's sitting room.



It was built in the early 1900's, so it has a lot of more modern amenities you wouldn't normally find in a castle like toilets and showers.


Sir Pellett built it for his wife, hoping to entertain royalty some day. I think he wished he was royalty.





We eventually made it up 7 stories to the top of the turrett for some awesome views of the city.

DSCF4396Way up there you could really see and feel the wind; it was also snowing that high up!


The house not only had a gigantic potting shed and greenhouse, but stables, a swimming pool, and a bowling alley. The thing was massive.


Next we made our way back to Lake Ontario again. It was bitter cold. I think I lasted about 5 minutes. The wind and icy rain made it pretty miserable.

Dan made a little sand castle for Cameron who always does just that when we're on a beach.


We miss you, Arizona!


Yeah, it's cold.


Look at this suicidal swan!


The rain coming sideways into my windows made things unpleasant, so I didn't get too many shots of downtown.


The CN Tower downtown that we considered touring but decided against since it was so cloudy and rainy, we wouldn't be able to see anything while up there anyway.

I was disappointed it was raining, because everyone kept saying it was so beautiful there, and it would have been nice to walk along and look at the shops in China Town-delis, floral shops, fruit stands, etc. Can I just say, I love Toronto. I love the buildings and the old style architecture. I love the brick work and the busy streets. If it weren't so wet and cold. . . actually, this afternoon wasn't bad. Wet, but not windy, so it was bearable.

We hit the Wal-mart and felt right at home! Some things were a little different and everything was a bit more expensive, but we felt a little less like foreigners in this foreign land. We stocked up on some snacks, drinks, and breakfast items for the next few day's travels. And Dan and I made out by the frozen foods. Ha.


From there, back to the Burnses for another awesome night. For some reason, I think they were trying to poison us. Dinner consisted of oxtail soup and chicken feet.


Yes, chicken feet.


There is something just so wrong about this picture.

DSCF4468Dan made it through the whole thing. I was brave and tried a taste, but that was enough for me. They just taste like fat and gristle. Blech. *crazy canadians!*

Dan and I stayed up and chatted with Clloylde and Maria for a couple of hours, talking about how we'd met our significant other, and offering up lots of ribbing and laughs. Everybody else was pretty much asleep, but we were laughing and talking and having fun. Dan even shared some missionary experiences and bore his testimony-it was sweet. It was such a great night (minus the poultry experience) and we went to sleep happy.


Jennifer ♥ said...

I just made Plantains yesterday - love them! I would definitely pass on the chicken feet. That is just so wrong!! It's so fun reading about your trip. I like the cold, but that looks COLD!! I love the shots from the top of the castle. I've never been to Toronto.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you got some island cooking experience. Now you know a little what it was like for us! Every branch function, chicken feet and chicken neck and rice. YUMMY!


Jenna said...

Wow, it looks so cold but also so interesting!

Emily said...

THANK YOU for sharing all of this, it is so interesting. I love the castle, that is so cool. And I'm with you-I know I would have starved if they offered me salt fish and chicken fish!

Mark and Jessica said...

I love touring castles! We've seen some nice ones as well. I am so glad I wasn't in weather that cold - I love AZ winters.

I keep telling my kids they have to eat what I cook and get used to trying new things because they'll never know what they'll be served on their mission. But, I don't think I could have stomached that - yuck!

Christine said...

I would so love to go visit that Castle! What an awesome place to take family photos :) Looks like my kind of place too with all that rain and grey skies. So glad you got to see it. Ugh chicken feet, been there, ick! I have a great recipe for a fried plantain dessert. You can get them at Sprouts.

*lindsey said...

Chicken feet?! I thought you went to Canada, not Guatamala! Looks like cold, cold fun!

wittygal said...

How entertaining! Thank you for sharing. I am a wimp about the cold too, especially around water. Gross about the feet (that's all I can say). Can't wait to hear more.

Liz said...

Pictures amazing.. I would have only tasted a few items to ... You are definetly brave..

Dahlene said...

Chicken feet for dinner? Yum Yum! Glad you survived.